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Columns

  • President's budget: Taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much

    Many Kentuckians, just like many across the country, are struggling to get by during this economic crisis. Unemployment is at a 25-year high. Too many have seen their hard-earned savings dwindle. And people are worried about paying for education, health care or the mortgage.

    At a time like this, Americans have a right to expect that as they are cutting back, so is their government.

  • Some laws are flat-out stupid

    I've written before about the uselessness of antiquated laws still in existence. Remember the duties of a Kentucky constable?

    According to state law, constables are to be paid 50 cents for making an arrest for a violation involving a motor vehicle on the highway or "taking up a vagrant." The price goes up to $1 for killing a mad dog or "altering a stud, jackass or bull." The fee is $2 for killing and burying a cow and $3 for killing and burying a distempered horse, ass or mule.

  • That great big hill of hope

    Paradoxically, in this time of almost crushing concern over the state of our nation, the inauguration of a new President ushers in, at least briefly, a period of palpable hope.

    Hope for a better economy, for demonstrable progress in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, and for improvements in everything from climate change to education to Social Security to health care. Indeed, optimism abounds even as things seem to be falling down all around us. It's the American way.

    But those aren't the only things we have to feel hopeful about. Or, for that matter, to worry about.

  • Goodbye CATS, hello progress

    CATS has breathed its last breath.

    After several attempts in recent years, Kentucky lawmakers have finally agreed on a plan to hammer the final nail in the CATS coffin.

    So, after 10 years of working toward the 2014 proficiency goal, we're changing course. Sounds kinda discouraging, doesn't it?

    But the fact is that stuffing CATS back in the bag could be the boost that education in Kentucky needs.

  • Onions on pizza or blood pressure control?

    "Hello, Supreme Pizza, Carmen speaking, how can I help you Dr. Applebaum?"

    How do you know my name?

    "Caller ID, my friend, would you like the usual, vegetarian with extra onions delivered to 23 High Side Lane?"

    That would be great.

    "Ok, Dr., it will be there in 20 minutes and we'll charge it to your credit card on file, OK?"

    Sure, thank you, goodbye.

  • Sunshine is for more than just flowers

    Sun - shine [suhn-shahyn] n.

    1. the shining of the sun; direct light of the sun

    2. brightness or radiance; cheerfulness or happiness

    3. the effect of the sun in lighting and heating a place

    4. a place where the direct rays of the sun fall

    Say you have gone to a government or school board meeting to hear and maybe even participate in a discussion about why a certain action is being taken.

    Then, to your surprise, a vote is taken without that discussion taking place.

    What happened?

  • From the ridiculous to the stupid

    It always seems as if something breaks down or needs replacing whenever large bills are due.

    If it's time to pay the homeowner's insurance premium, then one of our vehicles needs new tires. If it's time for property tax bills, then the hot water heater goes out. That's just the way life is.

    Somehow, though, while there might not always be money for the things we want, there always seems to be enough for the things we need.

    But for those people who have more money than they know what to do with, companies are now making more and more "must have" items.

  • February closes with a flurry of legislative action

    As my colleagues and I returned from the 2009 session's five day hiatus, we quickly resumed our work attending meetings, hearing testimony, studying proposed legislation and approving bills in the House chambers as only 12 days remain in this year's legislative session.

    Legislative committee meetings were full of debate and action this week.

  • A reporter's take on the rumor mill

    Rumors. They can be thorns in the side of reporters. Rumors abound in the newsroom. Folks call us quite often to tell us the latest one. We welcome them all. Some turn out to be true and become news stories. Others are not and are promptly forgotten.

    A case in point - a submerged vehicle in City Lake.

    I'd heard this one several times, always just after lunch for some reason. A reader would call and say they either saw a car go in the lake or that someone told them a car was in the lake.

  • Time for a little house cleaning

    As spring approaches, many consider it the perfect time for house cleaning. Because of that, I figure it's time to clear a few items out of our closet that appear to be causing some problems.

    Item No. 1

    We wasted taxpayer money last week. At least, that's what Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers tells us.